Upper arm lift
Skin and fat on the upper arm can become very weak and wrinkly following extreme weight loss, pregnancy, ageing or surgery. This can be corrected with plastic surgery. The medical term for this type of surgical procedure is dermolipectomy of the upper arms.
Everything about the procedure will be discussed during your first consultation meeting: the method that is best for you, the result you might expect, possible risks and follow-up care. During a consultation meeting, you will always receive honest advice and clear information about the treatment and the period thereafter. During this consultation meeting, the plastic surgeon will assess whether you are a suitable candidate for the procedure.
The surgeon will ask for information about your current state of health, medical history and any medication you may be using. If you use medication you must tell the plastic surgeon. You must not take any blood thinning medications (such as Coumarin, Marcoumar, Sintrom, Ascal, APC, dissolvable aspirin, children’s aspirin, and the like) for up to two weeks before surgery. You must also stop smoking 6 weeks before the surgery because smoking constricts the blood vessels, which can cause problems and slow down the healing of the wounds. If you are overweight, you must lose weight before surgery. This will improve the results of the surgery and reduce the risk of infection.
Corrective surgery of minor laxity in the upper arm is carried out by tightening the skin and attaching it in the armpit. In most cases, the skin will be stretched in two different directions, which will result in the formation of a long, S-shaped scar from the elbow to the armpit. The scar will be inside the upper arm to make it less noticeable later on. If there is an excess of fat, this will be removed in the same corrective procedure if necessary. The skin will be sutured using subcutaneous stitches and sealed with adhesive plasters. Due to improved techniques, drains will often not be required. The surgery will be performed under a general anaesthetic on an outpatient basis and if required, an over-night stay.
After the surgery
After the surgery, we recommend wearing a tight, elastic bandage which includes upper arms. We recommend you wear it for 4 weeks, day and night, and then for a further 2 weeks during the day. You must also try to limit the movement of your arms as much as possible during the first 2 weeks after surgery. Do not perform any sports or carry out physically demanding activities. The wounds will have healed after approximately 2 weeks. After which, you can begin to carry out light work. You can begin heavier work and sports after 4 to 6 weeks.
This surgery often produces very good results for most people. An arm lift will leave visible scars on the inside of the upper arm and in the armpit. Naturally, our experienced plastic surgeons will do their best to hide these scars in the existing skin folds. The final scar is different from one person to the next.
As with any other surgery, there are risks associated with an upper arm lift. The wounds may become infected, but this is rare. Infection is usually associated with people who have too much subcutaneous fat. It is therefore important that the patient is of a normal weight before the surgery. Post-operation bleeding can sometimes occur. This will mean that you will require another operation so that the surgeon can close the bleeding blood vessels.
An upper arm lift is considered as cosmetic surgery and will not generally be reimbursed through health insurance. So generally, you will have to pay for the surgery yourself. The plastic surgeon will give you advance notice of the costs. If there is a medical requirement for an upper arm lift to be carried out, the decision about reimbursement for the surgery will be taken by your health insurer’s medical adviser. The plastic surgeon will submit a claim to your insurance company, if required.
The upper arm lift subject consists of general information, which is meant to complement the consultation with your plastic surgeon. The general information cannot always be applied to each individual situation. If you have any questions after reading this information, the plastic surgeon would be happy to discuss them with you during the consultation. It might be a good idea to write your questions down in advance.